No “Safe Haven” Violence against Women in Iraqi Kurdistan

Shahrzad Mojab

in Sites of Violence

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780520230729
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937055 | DOI:
No “Safe Haven” Violence against Women in Iraqi Kurdistan

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This chapter discusses the lives of Kurdish women living in Iraqi Kurdistan in the aftermath of the Gulf War of 1990–91. It explores the associations between political and gender violence, “honor” and nationalism, and war and honor killing and provides considerable insight into the complexity of oppression and resistance. Kurdish nationalists claim that Kurdish women enjoy more freedom than their Turkish or Arab and Persian sisters. Moreover, the chapter investigates the formation of a war zone, and the extension of Turkey's zone of genocide to Iraqi Kurdistan. Honor killing has economic, social, religious, political, and cultural implications. It has also survived the extensive transformations of Kurdish society, especially urbanization, in the latter part of the twentieth century. The war zone of Iraqi Kurdistan has unleashed the forces of patriarchal violence and has enhanced the forging of alliances between nationalism, religion, and tribal-feudal male power.

Keywords: political violence; gender violence; Iraqi Kurdistan; Kurdish women; Gulf War; nationalism; honor killing; genocide

Chapter.  11219 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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